How to Enroll In the Right Heating and Cooling Degree Program near Ringgold Georgia
Once you have made a decision on a career as a heating and air conditioning technician, the next step is to find an HVAC vocational school near Ringgold GA. But with so many to pick from, how do you pick the right one to receive the training that you require? A number of future students will make their choice based exclusively on the cost of tuition or how near the school is to their residence. While these are important concerns, they are not the only ones to investigate. A few of the other details that you need to research are the graduation completion rates of the HVAC schools, their reputations, and if they are accredited by professional trade organizations. These and additional criteria will be covered in more detail later in this article. But before we examine how to pick an HVAC technical school, let’s take a look at what a heating and cooling professional does to become a licensed professional tradesman.
Becoming an HVAC Tech
HVAC is an acronym that is commonly used in the business that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC techs provide services for the installation, maintenance and repair of central air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, water heaters and heating systems. As skilled tradesmen, they are commonly mandated to be licensed, however each state and regional municipality has its own criteria. Obtaining professional certification is not mandatory, but a voluntary means for Ringgold GA HVAC technicians to establish that they are exceptionally qualified and knowledgeable in their area of specialization. There are a number of recognized certifications within the industry that are available. Following are a few of the significant ones.
- North American Technician Excellence (NATE). NATE is a nationally acknowledged certification for HVAC techs. The certification is attained by passing a proficiency exam and may be received in one or more specialties.
- HVAC Excellence. This certification offers both a professional and a master specialist credential. Two years of professional experience in addition to passing a comprehensive exam are needed for the professional level certification. Master specialists must have three years of experience along with a passing score on the professional level exam. As with NATE, certifications are provided in multiple specialties.
- EPA Section 608. This certification is mandatory for techs that work with refrigerants. There are three types of certification obtainable, one for small appliances, and the additional two for low and high pressure refrigerants.
Since licensing may be mandated in your location, and you may also intend to earn certification, it’s essential that you select an HVAC trade school that will prepare you for both. And since you will most likely be handling refrigerants, make sure that the school you pick readies you for passing the EPA Section 608 exams.
HVAC Certificate and Degree Courses
There are several alternatives offered for HVAC training in a technical or trade school. You can earn a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Obtaining a certificate will take the lesser period of time, often accomplished in just 6 months, although some courses are longer. A certificate will train you for the majority of HVAC positions, particularly if you are licensed and have certification relevant to the position. The degree training programs may provide a competitive edge for securing employment and will deliver more extensive training than the certificate programs. Following is a brief description of each credential offered near Ringgold GA.
- Certificate. Normally requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are preferred among entry level commercial or residential HVAC technicians. They furnish a strong foundation of skills for job opportunities within the trade.
- Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program supplies a more exhaustive understanding of heating and cooling systems than the certificate program. Usually requiring 2 years to complete, a number of degrees include an internship or work-study program.
- Bachelor’s Degree. The Bachelor’s Degree in HVAC is suited more towards a career in management as well as business ownership. Some programs require an Associate Degree, while others are a conventional 4 year program. In addition to being taught how to service and maintain heating and cooling systems, you will also study how to design them.
Selecting the appropriate credential program will be based on what your long term career objectives are, as well as the time and money that you have to commit. One possibility is to start with a certificate or even an Associate Degree program, and after acquiring some experience in the trade in Ringgold GA, later returning to obtain a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your tactic, make sure to ask the HVAC tech school you are looking at about how their returning student program works.
HVAC Courses Online
Enrolling in an HVAC school online is one option to obtaining your education and earning a certificate or degree. Nearly all schools will require some attendance on campus to complete practical training. Many also sponsor internship or work-study programs in addition to or in place of practical lab work. But since the balance of the classes may be participated in via the internet, this option may be a more practical solution for many Ringgold GA students that are short on time. And many online degree programs are cheaper than other traditional choices. Even driving expenses from Ringgold and study supplies can be lessened, helping to make schooling more budget-friendly. And many online programs are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your career or family obligations have left you with limited time to attend classes, perhaps an HVAC online training program will make it easier to accommodate school into your active schedule.
Questions For HVAC Schools
Once you have picked the type of certificate or degree that you desire to attain, either online or on campus, you can begin to decrease your selection of schools. As you are certainly aware, there are a large number of HVAC vocational schools in the Ringgold GA area and throughout the USA to pick from. That’s why it is essential to have a checklist of key qualifiers when making school evaluations. As previously mentioned in our opening paragraph, tuition and location will undoubtedly be the initial 2 factors you will take into consideration. Following are some additional ones that you will want to research before enrolling in your school of choice.
Accreditation. A large number of HVAC trade schools in the Ringgold GA area have acquired either a regional or a national accreditation. They may earn Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school’s programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to an individual program, for instance HVAC technology. Confirm that the program is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education approved accrediting agency, for instance the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping guarantee that you obtain an excellent education, it can assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools. Also, some states require that the HVAC training program be accredited in order to qualify for licensing.
High Completion Rates. Ask the Heating and Air Conditioning schools you are considering what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students who enroll in and finish the course. A low completion rate may suggest that students were disappointed with the program and quit. It could also mean that the teachers were not competent to train the students. It’s similarly important that the schools have higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a broader directory of graduates, which may mean more contacts for the school to employ for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate will not only affirm that the school has a good reputation within the field, but additionally that it has the network of Ringgold GA HVAC employers to help students acquire apprenticeships or employment.
Apprenticeship Programs. Most HVAC training programs are taught along with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating vocational and technical programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of HVAC companies or trade unions. Ask if the schools you are considering have referring relationships with local Ringgold GA HVAC contractors. An apprenticeship not only offers a valuable experience by supplying practical training, but it also provides employment opportunities and helps to form relationships in the area HVAC professional community.
Modern Facilities. Confirm that the school facilities and the equipment that you will be instructed on are up-to-date and what you will be working with in the field. If you are currently in an internship or an apprenticeship, check with the HVAC specialist you are working under concerning what you should be expecting. Otherwise, ask a local Ringgold GA HVAC contractor if they can give you some suggestions. Additionally bear in mind that unless you are able to move, the school needs to be within commuting distance of your Ringgold GA residence. Take note that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, besides the added moving costs there may be increased tuition fees compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s desirable that you receive as much personalized training as possible, which can be challenging in larger classes. Ask if you can monitor some of the classes so that you can observe how big they are and witness first hand the interaction between teachers and students. Speak to some of the students and get their comments concerning class sizes and instruction. Finally, talk with a few of the instructors and learn what their level of expertise is and what certifications or degrees they hold.
Flexible Scheduling. Make sure that the class schedules for the schools you are reviewing are flexible enough to handle your needs. If you can only attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Ringgold GA, confirm that the schools you are considering offer those options. If you can only attend part-time, be sure that the school you select allows part-time enrollment. Also, find out what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, sickness or family issues.
Considering an HVAC School near Ringgold GA?
Perhaps you are considering enrolling in an HVAC training program in the Ringgold Georgia area. If so, you may find the following background information about the location of your new school campus both interesting and informative.
Ringgold is a city in Catoosa County, Georgia, United States. Its population was 3,580 at the 2010 census. It is the county seat of Catoosa County. It is part of the Chattanooga, Tennessee–GA Metropolitan Statistical Area.
Ringgold is where The General locomotive stopped during the Great Locomotive Chase on April 12, 1862. Ringgold is also home to the historic Ringgold Depot, which still contains bullet marks from the Civil War.
The Battle of Ringgold Gap took place on November 27, 1863. Confederate Major General Patrick Cleburne with 4,100 men used the mountain pass known as the Ringgold Gap to stall the advance of Union Major General Joseph Hooker and his troops. Hooker's troops were over 12,000 strong. It was a Confederate victory because it allowed Confederate artillery and wagon trains to move safely through the Ringgold Gap unharmed while inflicting high Union casualties.
HVAC Masters Degree Ringgold GA
Picking the ideal HVAC school course is a crucial first step toward a fulfilling career in the heating and air conditioning field. You originally came to this website because you wanted more information regarding HVAC Masters Degree. However, as we have discussed in this post, you need to choose an Heating and Cooling vocational school and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the HVAC field. Other features to look for are plenty of practical training and state-of-the-art facilities. You should go to each of the schools in person that you are most interested in to inspect the campus and speak with both the current students and faculty. Attempt to get a feel for the quality of the training and the interaction between them. Also, ask about scheduling choices and whether or not night or weekend classes are available if needed. And don’t forget to ask about financial aid and student loan options also. If you ask the appropriate questions as we have detailed in our checklist for assessing schools, you’ll be able to filter your choices so that you can make an informed decision. With the appropriate training, hard work and commitment, you can eventually become a licensed HVAC specialist in Ringgold GA.
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